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Tour suggestion for seniors?

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Glasgow Scotland
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Tour suggestion for seniors?

We are in Berlin from Monday to Thursday We are looking for tour that will take us to WW2 and Cold War sites.

My wife is uncomfortable with a 4 hour walking tour.

Any suggestions?

Many thanks

Frankfurt
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1. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

You might want to think about simply booking a private guide for a couple of hours. Try "Insider Tours" or "Jeremy the Berlin Expert". Both of them have listings and reviews under the Things to Do section on the left hand side of your screen.

London, United...
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2. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

You could visit the sites you want to see yourself, and split them up between your four days. Even if you had a private tour guide, trying to see them all on one day would involve a lot of walking.

Here are a few suggestions.

TOPOGRAPHY OF TERROR

The Topography of Terror is, I think, the most important of the WWII sites, and you could easily spend a full half day there, touring both the indoor documentation centre and the outdoor site. The latter takes you (with an audio tour) around the sites of Hitler's Reichs Chancellery, the SS and Gestapo Headquarters, and the Gestapo prison. Apart from a part of the prison, and the foundations of the others, there is very little to see because the buildings were damaged at the end of the war and destroyed afterwards, but it is an extremely moving experience to walk around the area and be told all about it. The full tour takes two hours, which might be too much for your wife, but the basic version takes just half an hour.

http://www.topographie.de/en/

Running along the outdoor site is a long section of the Berlin Wall. In the spring and summer there is an outdoor exhibition along it about Berlin during the war, but if you are going next Monday it won't be there: it's taken down in the winter.

There is a nice café in the Martin Gropius Bau where you could have lunch and a rest.

On that same day you could also walk up Wilhelmstrasse, the nerve centre of the Nazi regime: there are information panels here and there.

The closest U-bahn station is Anhalter Bahnhof, but you can also walk there from Potsdamer Platz, down Stresemann Strasse.

MEMORIAL TO THE MURDERED JEWS OF EUROPE

The other WWII site that you shouldn't miss is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka Holocaust Memorial). It's not far from the Topography of Terror, but I think it would be too much to do it on the same day. When you go there, do visit the excellent museum/documentation centre underneath.

THE REICHSTAG (BUNDESTAG)

And of course the Reichstag. You have to book in advance for a tour, which takes around 1.5 hours depending on the guide - some do it quicker, and you can then spend time in the dome from where you'll get great views of Berlin.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_building

bundestag.de/htdocs_e/…fuehr.html

BERLIN WALL MEMORIAL

There are memories of the DDR days all over East Berlin, but the one thing you should make sure to see is the Berlin Wall Memorial, which could easily fill another half day.

www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/

Nordbahnhof is the nearest U-bahn.

HOHENSCHONHAUSEN

The other DDR must-see is the Stasi prison at Hohenschönhausen. This too will be another half-day, as it is a longish journey (by tram) from Alexanderplatz. Information and directions are here:

http://en.stiftung-hsh.de/

The longest remaining section of wall is of course the East Side Gallery, and I think most people would recommend you to see it. But apart from the wall itself, there is no connection between the art work on it and the DDR days. I find it rather underwhelming - and it's a long long walk along it. if you want to go there, the nearest S-bahn is Warschauerstrasse.

berlin.de/orte/…index.en.php

SOVIET WAR MEMORIAL

If you have time, another site I'd suggest is the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park.

berlin.de/orte/…index.en.php

There is another in the Tiergarten, near the Reichstag:

…wikipedia.org/wiki/…29

I think that's probably enough for a four-day visit, as I'm sure there will be other things you'll want to do in Berlin. I hope you can see why I'm suggesting you split these visits up and do it independently, rather than trying to cram them into one day on any sort of tour, even with the gentlest of independent guides.

Other posters will probably come in with other suggestions - I haven't covered everything by any means. You won't have time to see everything, and you won't want to rush around too much, but do spend enough time at each of the sites you visit to absorb it.

Edited: 16 February 2013, 08:00
Glasgow Scotland
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3. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

Thank you very much for taking the time to post such a detailed reply

I will certainly be following many of your suggestions

London, United...
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4. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

You're very welcome. Do come back with more questions, and we'll be happy to help.

Malaga, Spain
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5. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

I would add the Stasi prison tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187323-d3… and the Wannsee Conference House tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187323-d2…

Read the reviews. Both are amazing.

Allocate a morning or an afternoon for each and try to read about them before you go or see relevant films (The Life of Others and Conspiracy).

Wannsee, the Lake, makes a pleasant trip into the countryside a short distance from the centre of Berlin and is accessible by public transport.

Edited: 16 February 2013, 14:14
Houston
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6. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

This information was very helpful for me also as we are going to be in Berlin in July. Could you also let me know your thoughts about hotels suitable for seniors. We have looked at possibly Radisson Blu or Hotel Alexander. We would like to be a couple of blocks from transportation, restaurants and shopping.

Thank you in advance.

London, United...
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7. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

They are in very different areas of the city. The Alexander is in west Berlin, so you would have to use public transport to get to almost everything you might want to see. The Radisson Blu is much better located for the main sites, sights, and museums, and with Alexanderplatz 5 minutes walk away, has better transport connections.

Barcelona, Spain
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8. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

Just a small point but it might help when looking at transport maps: Anhalter Bahnhof and Nordbahnhof are both on S-Bahn lines not U-Bahn. There is an U-Bahn line that brings you to the Berlin Wall Memorial: the U8 which goes direct from Alexanderplatz to Bernauer Strasse. You exit by part of the open-air memorial in the death strip which has "listening posts" to hear eye-witness accounts of events. From there it's a downhill walk to the viewing platform and Wall Information Centre (the latter is by Nordbahnhof S_Bahn station)

Two other museums related to the Cold War period: the DDR-Museum (an interactive museum about life in the GDR) which is very near the Radisson and is open till 8 most days, till 10pm at Saturdays. I have been twice and found it very good, learning a lot even though I thought I knew quite a lot about the GDR (which I had visited). As "competition" to that, there is now a new government-funded museum related to the GDR in the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, which is less central (but free entry)

Also free entry, and central, is the exhibition in the Tränenpalast by Friedrichstrasse station. This is the place where most travellers were processed when crossing between East and West Berlin (NB only non-Germans could cross at Checkpoint Charlie)

Edited: 26 November 2013, 10:59
Houston
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9. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

Thank you everyone for the assistance. Would a Hop on Hop bus be a good option to get to major sites if walking a lot was a problem?

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Tour suggestion for seniors?

You could do that or even take buses 100 and 200. To give you an idea here is a map of the routes.

https://maps.google.de/maps/ms…